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Solar feed-in tariff program revised

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Oregon Public Utility Commission revised rates for its solar feed-in tariff pilot program.

Incentive rates for distributed solar — such as solar panels on a home — will now pay more for small systems in several of the state’s rainy counties, including and surrounding Portland, but will hold steady elsewhere, and pay less for medium systems in some cases.
The changes represent the maturing of the a pilot program that launched in July 2010 offering between 55 cents and 65 cents per kilowatt hour to participants who install solar systems.
“Ultimately the commission is looking for that sweet spot, where the prices are in just the right place,” said Moshrek Sobhy, senior utility and energy analyst for the PUC. Recent changes, he said, are “pointing to the right direction. We may not be exactly there, but we are very close.”

Read more at Sustainable Business Oregon.

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There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

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This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


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